{ business directory }

PERKY DEVELOPMENTS

By John Lovett // Times Record

For any bustling community, it’s important to know the best places for conversation, cool places to brainstorm and collaborate, and of course, where to get that all-important, cup-of-joe. 

Fort Smith Coffee Co. was one of the largest American importers of coffee beans from Brazil in the early 1900s, but after nearly 70 years in hiatus the name of the company found new life as a neat little coffee shop and roastery in downtown Fort Smith.

The late 1920s oil and gas station at 1101 Rogers Ave., next to the U.S. Post Office, was converted into the new Fort Smith Coffee Co. by Gabe and Kaity Gould and opened up for business in May 2017.

The Goulds developed their recipes over several years roasting coffees at home under their Hawk & Horse logo. They revived a name with a deep past in Fort Smith.

The new coffee shop and roastery offers sweets, sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads seven days a week. They offer both “organic” and “fair trade organic” coffees. Sweets are baked in-house.

Beer from Prestonrose Farm & Brewing Co. near Paris is also available on draft at the new Fort Smith Coffee Co.
“Things are progressing on this side of the city,” Kaity Gould said. “There’s a fresh vibe and we want to be a part of making it last.”

The space chosen for the new Fort Smith Coffee Co. is the former Deep Rock Oil Co. built in 1928 at Texas Corner downtown behind Propak Logistics’ Friedman-Mincer Building.

Architect Brett Abbott of Blue Rock Design was tasked with drawing up plans to stabilize the structure.

The Artistic Bean, 615 Garrison Ave., is another downtown Fort Smith hotspot that offers a peaceful place for a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

With organically grown coffee beans roasted onsite for a hand-made Italian espresso machine, the Artistic Bean has become a central meeting place for many movers and shakers downtown.

Stan Ramsey opened the coffee shop in November 2016 next to the Fort Smith city offices at the Stephens Building.

Savoy Tea Co., 925 Garrison Ave., has become a popular place to both get a cup of tea or coffee, or a sweet treat.
Bill and Tina Beyer of Fayetteville renovated the historic 1920s building at the corner of 10th Street and Garrison Avenue for their third location in late 2015. They also have shops in Rogers and Fayetteville.

Savoy’s bright tea house, with splendid views of the plaza and the historic Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, was once home to the Crystal Room Cafe in the 1920s and a soda shop for the old Malco Theater.

Fort Smith Brewing Co., at 7500 Fort Chaffee Blvd. in the Chaffee Crossing Historic District, is another new business with historical connections.

Quentin Willard, a Van Buren native and West Point graduate who was recently promoted to the rank of major, founded the brewing company in 2016 at a World War II era Army warehouse using a three-barrel system with business partner Brooke Elder.

Fort Smith Brewing Co. began serving beers in September 2017 at their taproom with room for 100 patrons and a dozen tap handles.

Moka Joe’s Coffee & Cafe at Cisterna Market is a popular place on the south end of town at 9207 U.S. 71 South in Cisterna Market, Suite 1.

Sweet Bay Coffee Co. also continues to be a perennial favorite with three locations in Fort Smith and one in Van Buren. Sweet Bay also recently opened a location at Branson Landing in Missouri.